Mexico keen to help develop Brunei’s halal industry

HRH Princess Hajah Masna (2nd R), the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Bruno Ferrari (3rd R), Mexico's Secretary of Economy, speak during a luncheon yesterday. Picture: BT/Yusri Adanan

MEXICO is keen to contribute to the development of Brunei’s halal industry, the country’s secretary of economy said yesterday.

Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Bruno Ferrari, said he was “very interested” in Brunei’s ambition to develop itself into a hub for high-quality halal food processing.

Following a luncheon hosted by Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Masna, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Empire Hotel and Country Club yesterday, Ferrari said halal is an area Mexico and Brunei can explore.

“What we’re going to do is we’re organising for October, a mission for Mexican entrepreneurs to come to the region, to the different countries in Asia,” he told The Brunei Times.

“And of course one of the destinations will be here (Brunei),” he added.

He explained that Mexico is ” also very powerful in some food industries” and spoke of the possibility for Mexico to produce halal food for Muslim countries.

“So let’s see if this is something that I have to share with (the entrepreneurs),” Ferrari said.

Brunei aims to become the leading nation in the halal industry and benefit from the global halal market, through its halal brand project.

The global halal industry market is valued at an estimated US$560 billion dollars ($712 billion), according to statistics obtained from the Brunei Halal website.

Brunei Wafirah Holdings Sdn Bhd, the company that owns the Brunei Halal brand, is hoping to introduce European-made products in Asia under the brand name in the future as opposed to only having Asian manufactured products distributed in Europe.

The strength of Brunei Halal’s product branding is widely attributed to its certification system which is recognised worldwide and has the advantage of a single accreditation body under Brunei’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, observers have said.

Dr Mohammad Nazir OBE, chief executive officer of Brunei Wafirah UK, previously said the European demography is changing rapidly with the Muslim population projected to exceed 58 million by 2030.

“Muslims today account for about six per cent of Europe’s total population, up from 4.1 per cent in 1990 and the size of tis market and forecasted trends strongly suggest that Europe represents a substantial opportunity for the Brunei Halal Brand,” he said.

The Brunei Halal brand’s dry food product range includes biscuits, snacks and crisps, confectionary goods and noodles.

The Brunei Times